Winning American Idol has set off music career after music career. More than the money and the record deals, it sends many young stars out on the road.
But what is it like out on the road on a tour bus? How stylish to they roll?
Tupelo, Miss., Elvis Country. There is a statue of The King of rock n' roll when he was just 13 and learning to play the guitar. Elvis was born and raised in a shotgun shack and it is to many the birthplace of rock n' roll.
Tupelo is still kingly when it comes to keeping that rock rolling.
"This bus was built for Brett Michaels, he has been a long time client of ours," said Jeff Michael with Celebrity Coaches.
For a quarter of a century Celebrity Coaches of Tupelo has been a major tour bus provider for music stars sending rockers like Michaels on the road in plush style. The bus he rolls in, Brett personally named it. He calls it "Road Dawg." Michaels tours in a luxurious unmarked coach.
"It has three bunks, a bed in the back, two bathrooms, and a shower and it is equipped with high-def televisions, DirecTV, in-motion satellite, and Internet," Michael said. "He has it all - the comforts of home that he would have while he is out on the road."
Using Hydraulics, the lounge area of "Road Dawg" slides out an additional two feet when it is parked, as does the bedroom, giving the coach extra space. This rocker's tour ride has a kitchen, full refrigerator and a plush leather lounge.
"Road Dawg" is climate controlled by six separate thermostats, so when the coach's rooms are separated by doors, the temperature in each room can be regulated independently. The coach even has a granite party cooler built in that lights up when you open it to take a drink out.
"Brett Michaels is probably one of the hardest working artists on the road and he spends a lot of time there and they want to be comfortable as they can, while they are on the road he spends more time on the bus than in the house," Michael said.
Keeping the stars comfortable is Celebrity Coach's business. Some of the requests they get for outfitting the buses are a bit outrageous.
"Yeah, we have been asked for a lot of outlandish stuff," Michael said while grinning. "I mean hot tubs, tanning beds, stripper poles."
"We have a graphic arts department and we print vinyl wrap," he added. "This is just something we did to try to customize it a little bit for Brett. It's kind of his signature guitar and we put his autograph and it's basically a vinyl sticker that looks like etched glass. If the artist has a design or a paint scheme they want on the bus we can put it on the bus using our graphic arts department to design the wrap any color they want."
Another Celebrity Coaches tour bus in Tupelo that is being blacked out with a wrap is for Matchbox Twenty's next tour. The company is also working on Miranda Lambert's tour bus.
Lambert's tour bus is emblazoned with an emblem of a pistol with angels wings, a design that the country singer came up with.
"She really likes it so we put it on the back of her bus for her," Michael added.
But one of the most stunning buses and legendary buses in the Celebrity Coaches fleet is a 45-footer known simply as "Blue Eyes," designed originally by Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee.
"This one is 'Blue Eyes,'" Michael said. "It's a stunner. It's an XL2. It's a double slide, it is a star coach with two bathrooms, a king-sized bed. The bunk area as you can see it has six bunks, three on each side and as you can see the estate room and private restrooms."
"Blue Eyes" is so plush she would make a pimp blush, with recessed accent lighting and high styling even in the bathrooms. Over the years a number of legendary entertainers have taken "Blue Eyes" out on the road including Tommy Lee, Melissa Etheridge, Matchbox Twenty, Nickelback, Jason Mraz and the Zack Brown Band.
"I like the interior, it's dark, it really has a colorful look," Michael said. "You step on the bus or outside and it's black and blue flames and it looks cool going down the road. It has lots of extra bells and whistles."
"Blue Eyes" feels inviting like the VIP area of a lounge or nightclub with dark leather, and gold accents. The bus is sharp down to the scalloped mirrors in the bathroom and stylish sink in the kitchen with blue accent lighting underneath.
If you don't want to entertain guests onboard "Blue Eyes" there's an entertainment center built into a cargo hold on the bus. It sports a large flat screen and stereo system. Open the Cargo hold and sit outside and enjoy.
"This bus, you know, it has a wow factor to it a lot of the stars step on the bus and they are impressed they like the bus it is one of our most requested buses."
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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